Your Siri Recordings are Analyzed by Actual Humans Contracted by Apple!

According to a recent report from The Guardian, Apple has contracted people for listening to the Siri conversations recorded by users. The conversations range from personal to professional. According to the contractor who revealed this information, the conversations are sent to workers for grading it for various purposes.

Although Apple’s privacy page states that the Apple servers, through encrypted protocols, collect certain information to identify a user’s pronunciation and provide better responses, it isn’t mentioned anywhere explicitly that actual humans would listen to the recordings.

When giving a statement to The Guardian, the company affirmed that a small portion of Siri requests are studied to better improve the service. However, User requests aren’t linked with their respective Apple ID and all operations are carried out in secure facilities and the analyzers are required to accept Apple’s confidentiality requirements beforehand. Apple also claimed that less than 1 percent of daily activations are studied as a part of this system.

Although this news came across as concerning, it wasn’t shocking exactly, considering both Google (for Assistant) and Amazon (for Alexa) are known for having contracted human workers listening to recorded conversations to make the necessary improvements in their AI.

However, what makes Apple’s case more concerning is the fact that while Alexa and Google Assistant’s applications are limited to smart speakers and phones, Siri is more mainstream and is even incorporated into Apple Watch. Siri on an Apple Watch activates as soon as the person wearing it raises their wrist, so anything they say beyond that point is at the verge of getting recorded and sent to Apple Servers.

As mentioned above, the recorded conversations can be based on several different topics and according to the source unveiling these details, countless discussions involving intimate talks, business deals and other secretive information were listened to by strangers. Not only that, but the recordings are also accompanied by user data featuring location, contact details and other data.

Moreover, Amazon and Google give their users an option to list some uses of their recordings that they wouldn’t like anyone to listen. Apple, on the other hand, doesn’t offer this flexibility and users can only disable Siri if they are concerned.

Even though Apple claims to be a strong supporter of User Privacy, it doesn’t give its users much of an option in this case. The applications of smart assistants have increased by leaps and bounds over the years, so it isn’t possible for users to completely abandon these systems either. The best way for any Apple user to safeguard their privacy currently is to be careful in their conversations that take place near their Apple devices.

Read next: Google Assistant tests ‘instant messages send’ from the Android lock screen
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